restricted access The Scribal Circulation of Early Modern Letters
Abstract

This essay looks at the scribal circulation of letters in early modern England. Building on the work of scholars such as Mary Hobbs, Harold Love, H. R. Woudhuysen, Arthur Marotti, and Peter Beal, it outlines the range of letter-texts copied and collected, and the manuscript forms and writing technologies that facilitated circulation. It contributes to recent scholarship that has complicated models of epistolarity as a closed two-sided exchange anchored within an historically specific moment, arguing instead for letter writing as a more fluid, multi-agent collaborative process of writing, delivery, and reading, with letters achieving a considerable degree of textual afterlife, generating new meanings and applications in new contexts and conditions.


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